French military forces carried out a raid approximately 150 km (90 mi) northwest of Mopti on the morning (local time) of Saturday, December 21, killing 33 Islamist militants. French forces reportedly utilized ground troops, helicopters, and a drone in the operation, which also freed 2 Malian gendarmes.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, Mali's northern and central regions remain unstable despite a French-led intervention launched in 2013 that drove many extremists from their strongholds. France maintains approximately 4500 troops stationed throughout the Sahel.
The security environment in Mali remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.